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1  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Is Obama blowing it? on: Today at 07:53 AM
My question per all of this, is there a good option and strategy to improve things?


Per the strategy, I think I prefer Obama saying we have no strategy and won't proceed until we have one to Bush's approach of we'll attack now and form a strategy later.

By now, W would have invaded Zimbabwe.
2  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Is Obama blowing it? on: Yesterday at 03:54 AM
Once again we have an example of Obama leading from behind " THE SCENES". What he said was that we do not yet have a "strategy" for dealing with the ISIL. We are tactically stalling their advances with our air strikes while the diplomatic wheels grind on  behind the scenes. Just as with Syria's chemical weapons I suspect there are multilateral "negotiations" going on  to get the most involved stakeholders, those in the region, with the exception of Israel, involved ( it would sure help if we had an Ambassador in a Turkey, but we know why that hasn't happened. Really a ****** time to have a disloyal minority party). Everyone with a brain knows there is not a long term military solution to this issue, and as bad as the optics are, there is nothing immediately critical on an existential level to warrant going off half-cocked. We are starting to see Islamic clerics and leaders speaking out against ISIL. It is only the other Muslims in the area that have any hope of ending the scourge that is ISIL, and they can only do it through an enlightenment of their populations that "starves the beast" of the cannon fodder they are using in their campaign. The battle against ISIL is not a western battle. It is their hope that by sucking the west in they can continue to exploit the ignorance and hatred that the social fabric of the region engenders by misdirecting it against us and continue to "feed the beast". Once again, I believe Obama is smarter by half than all his detractors, and we will see, over time, a true global strategy to deal with this scourge come out of this White House.
3  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Wake Up, America! on: Aug 30, 2014, 07:30PM
For years now I have believed the most ironic, iconic song of all time is Steppenwolf's "the Pusherman".
4  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Wake Up, America! on: Aug 28, 2014, 08:22PM
.
Where did I say I was unaware?


(I know I'll take a hit for this, but I can't help myself) thinking people don't need someone to tell us the blatantly obvious. (I love ya man! You can have my Bud light anytime). I am seriously ambivalent about the decriminalization of all drugs. My libertarian streak believes it should be a personal choice. But, I know from personal experience that marijuana is largely benign; certainly when compared to other substances that are completely legal. I also know from personal experience that other drugs kill people and logic says they should be controlled. Classifying marijuana with narcotics and stimulants is an absurd concept, and needs to be rectified.
5  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Wake Up, America! on: Aug 28, 2014, 02:51PM
The only reason marijuana MAY be a gateway drug is the fact it is illegal. People have to go to the same black market to get it that supplies the other drugs. They provide a much bigger "bang for the buck" profit wise, so the market pushes for the upgrade. Remove pot from that market place and the "gateway" closes.
6  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Wake Up, America! on: Aug 28, 2014, 10:45AM
Police are against legalization because the "drug war" is a huge part of their funding, as are "confiscations". They stand to have big chunks taken out of their budgets as pot is decriminalized.
7  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Wake Up, America! on: Aug 28, 2014, 05:38AM
Onward and upward -

Amendment 2
In last week’s column I pointed out many issues where the GOP in this country is out of step with the majority of the American people. On this year’s ballot here in Florida we have our own initiative that has wide support, over 70%, but is being fought tooth and nail by many vested, special interest groups. I am talking about Amendment 2 legalizing the sale of medical marijuana.
 
Opposition to the amendment does not seem to break down across strictly partisan lines, but  those opposed are resorting to the same spin, misinformation, and outright lies that are the staples of right wing propaganda. Videos of minorities in hip-hop attire and references to the disastrous “pill-mill” era, which saw so many Floridians abusing, and dying from, hard core narcotics abound. I should include fear in my list of right wing staples.
 
A look at groups who have fought against decriminalization of pot around the country makes it abundantly clear what the motivating factor of those in opposition is; loss of profits and/or funding. Police, the liquor industry, Big Pharma, for-profit prisons, etc., are all lined up fighting against passage of decriminalization laws. All stand to be negatively impacted, financially, should Amendment 2 pass in Fla.
 
Fearing Amendment 2 would drive a huge turnout of voters who are not usually GOP friendly, the Fla. Legislature passed, and Governor Fraud signed into law, a bill approving the growing, prescription of, and use of a “non-euphoric” strain of marijuana by children with epilepsy. The law, called “Charlotte’s Web”, however, does nothing to alleviate the conditions of the large number of Floridians suffering from maladies that could be ameliorated with a “drug” (herb) that is 100% natural and organic.
 
Marijuana is mostly benign, certainly far less harmful than many substances that are 100% legal. In my 20 years as a paramedic I treated and transported countless patients with problems stemming from alcohol, narcotics and stimulants, and tobacco. Many did not survive their episodes of acute alcohol poisoning or drug OD’s. In all that time I never, nor did I ever hear of anyone else doing so, treated, much less transported, a patient for any kind of marijuana complaint.
 
Like the PPACA, Amendment 2 is not perfect in its original form. That said, it is better than the status quo, and a good starting point toward a rational policy.
 
Wake up, Florida.
8  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Wake Up, America! on: Aug 28, 2014, 04:01AM
You have to understand that this isn't supposed to make sense. It's dogma. Most of these 'articles of faith' on the economy have long ago been proved wrong, but they appeal to people who aren't 'fact-based'.

Sad, but all too true.
9  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Wake Up, America! on: Aug 26, 2014, 11:24AM
Taxes as a percentage of GDP are near 100 year lows. In the 1950's, 33% of the taxes paid to the Federal government were collected from corporations. THat number today is 8%. While the number on the books is 35%, the effective corporate tax rate in this country is WWAAAYYYY lower than that. Burger King has stated today its operational headquarters will remain in So. Fla. and it will continue to pay its taxes in the US. THe whole "taxing them to death" horse hockey is exactly that. Horse hockey.
10  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Wake Up, America! on: Aug 25, 2014, 05:58PM
Is that a rhetorical question? 
Are all managers and CEO's greedy and selfish?  Some?  Many?

I would guess the ratio is pretty much identical to that of rank and file union membership. Maybe a little moreso when you factor in the ambition and self-centered ness involved in achieving those positions.The adversarial system we have set up here in America, in many different arenas, is contradictory to positive outcomes. In the end, unions and management have the same self interest goals. To see the company is a success so there is something to be divided up for the survival interests of all stakeholders. It is the proper balance of the distribution of that production that needs to be found.We were very close to that balance from the end of WWII to 1980. Now, not so much. Today, the German model is far superior to where we are.
11  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Wake Up, America! on: Aug 25, 2014, 09:49AM
His first statement is just absurd on the face of it, and his second has so many different rebuttals it would be hard to know where to start. Maybe the first would be to replace the phrase "union members" with human beings might not be too inappropriate. He obviously has not had the privielege of knowing many union members, and he must live in a not so nice environment if the circle of people he interacts with leaves him with that impression.
12  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Wake Up, America! on: Aug 24, 2014, 02:19PM

Now we just let anyone who wants to cross our borders. 

I have found that most union members I have known personally were not reputable people and nothing but greedy and selfish.


The total ignorance expressed in those two statements is mind boggling.
13  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Wake Up, America! on: Aug 22, 2014, 08:28AM
Illegal immigration is at a 50 year low as we speak due to the combination of increased border security and the economic downturn. The Cheap Labor Conservatives have been pushing anti-union propaganda since they were thrown out on their collective arses after they caused the Great Depression. They are behind the "free-trade", outsourcing, and union-busting movement that has so decimated this country'smanufacturing base and its middle class over the last 35 years. TboneS, you can find it as offensive as you want to, but, it is reality. Open your eyes and your mind to it. Or, don't. It took me 45 years to.
14  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Wake Up, America! on: Aug 22, 2014, 04:23AM

Well, Russ, you think the MSM is pro-corporate and anti-progressive, and other people think they are shameless shills for the liberals and for Obama.


I don't disagree the MSM is doing an almost adequate job, but I will continue to point out the reality that virtually all news (broadcast and print), and media of any kind for that matter, is controlled by an ever shrinking (currently 6 I believe) number of multi-national corporations, not all of them with American roots, whether they are "pro-corporate" or not.. I got sick of hearing the "liberal media" scatological debris of equine origin, and this is my little protest and attempt to set the record straight. Kind of in the same vein that I add "Cheap Labor" anytime I have to use the word Conservative to remind people what the real core value of the pupppet masters of the GOP really is. We see and hear what the corporate media want us to see and hear. We have to assume they're doing a pretty good job because we have very little objective to compare it with. The BBC and Al Jazeera do as good, or better, a job. PBS is the best in this country these days.

<Edit: Fixed quote>
15  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Wake Up, America! on: Aug 21, 2014, 08:43PM
And, on to the next one......

Last November, a year out from the midterm elections, corporate media was predicting another wave election in favor of the GOP. They expected a deluge of negative advertising demonizing “Obamacare” and continuing the unrelenting assault over the incident in Benghazi (SQUIRREL).

Now, less than three months out, both of those issues have all but dropped off the radar screen. “Obamacare” is working well enough that better than 60% of Republicans who have it are satisfied with it. In Arkansas, where the drop in the uninsured rate (over 50%) was the largest in the country, Sen. Mark Pryor is actually posting adds bragging of his role in passing the law, and is leading in a race that may determine who controls the Senate.

The word “Benghazi” (SQUIRREL) has been, at least temporarily, banished from GOP talking points since another GOP House committee (Intelligence this time) determined there was NO wrongdoing by the administration in the incident. There will no doubt be a revival of their attempts to distract the American public from their misfeasance in governance as the “Special” committee on Benghazi (SQUIRREL) convenes to waste yet more taxpayer money beating a horse that is going to remain dead.

And, yet, the media (the Corporate controlled media) continues to predict a GOP wave election, with them almost certainly taking control of the Senate. It kind of boggles the mind.

On virtually every issue that matters to the majority of the American people the GOP is in opposition to the desires of the electorate. From the 90% of Americans supporting equal pay for women and universal background checks for gun sales, to the 70% that support a raise in the minimum wage, an extension of unemployment benefits, and a closing of corporate tax loopholes, to the 60% who support immigration reform, Medicaid expansion, and a woman’s right to choose, the GOP is on the wrong side of the American people.

And, still, the media, and many polls, predict a GOP landslide. Where is the cognitive disconnect, and what is causing it?

The answer is pretty simple. It is money. It is gerrymandering and hundreds of millions of dollars dumped in the system by a very few, very rich folks at the very top of the food chain.

We won’t see the voice of the American people heard on Capitol Hill until the money is taken out of our process.

Wake up, America.
16  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Wake Up, America! on: Aug 21, 2014, 04:31PM
Let me make this a bit simpler.  Did we bomb them into submission or did we ask tell them "please behave or we'll get really mad.  And do not crosse that line in the sand.  Or else I'll be really, really mad". Hmm?

Um, no, we did not "bomb them them into submission"", nor did we "ask tell them 'please behave or we'll get really mad". Last I saw, none of the boogiemen the right is using in their warmongering propaganda bear even remote resemblance to the Third Reich or Imperial Japan in any area which could translate into a military threat to the US or Europe. As for the line in the sand absurdity, when someone crosses a line drawn in the sand, you don't necessarily immediately shoot them in the face. This President/ Commander in Chief knew what a disaster getting involved militarily in Syria would be. He played Congress and Putin like well tuned Stradivarii, and, guess what, there are no more chemical weapons in Syria, and my son is not over there doing what he can to save his Joe's lives on another pointless battlefield in the Middle East.
The world needs a lot more Obama's.
17  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Wake Up, America! on: Aug 21, 2014, 11:49AM
Let's see.  Did we negotiate with the Germans, Italians and Japanese  to make them surrender?

Now there's a quality addition to the discussion.

While I applaud you for you utopian ideals and willingness to stand behind Obama no matter what,

I have plenty of issues with Obama and actions, or lack thereof, of his administration. There has not been a single banker, torturer, or war criminal indicted by his Justice Dept. Bank after bank is being allowed to pay fines that are equivalent to pennies on the dollar they stole from the American people, and no one is going to jail. I am not a fan of the drone program. Obamacare, while it is orders of magnitude better than what we had, should have been a Medicare for all/ single payer system. Etc., etc., etc.
18  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Wake Up, America! on: Aug 20, 2014, 04:58PM
This President will never go off half-cocked, but he doesn't hesitate to pull the trigger when the situation is right. Sometimes leadership is best exhibited when leading from behind the scenes.


http://news.yahoo.com/officials-us-rescue-mission-syria-failed-223712306.html
19  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Wake Up, America! on: Aug 20, 2014, 02:57PM

There's more underemployed than ever before. - 35 years of anti-union, cheap labor conservative, outsourcing GOP policy get he blame for this one, not Obama.

The economy is feckless. - DOW at an all toime high, 200,000 jobs created last month, 4% GDP growth 2nd quarter. Yep, feckless. Go ahead and blame Obama for this one. Imagine if he'd been allowed to fully implement any of his policies. We'd be over the moon.

Race relations are at their lowest since "The One" has taken over. No, race relations are about the same as they have always been, they are just more in the awareness of the everday American. THe oppressed are standing up for themselves, and the opressors don't much like it.

Obamacare in it's present state, is unsustainable. - Maybe, but it has had major positive effects on the lives of millions of Americans. THere is nothing wrong with it that couldn't be fixed if we had a loyal minority party that was interested in doing what is right for the American people rather than a disloyal minority party that would rather see America fail than this President succeed.

China is flexing it's muscle as never before. - Amazing what a super expanded industrial base, supplied by, nominally , American corporations will do for ones self image.

Russia is modernizing it's military at an alarming rate. - Russia is a declining power kept on life support by its energy sector. The sanctions, which will almost certainly continue to be strengthened, will keep Putin under control. They are hitting his oligarchs hard, and they will not allow him to continue his adventurism.

Israel and the terrorists are not even close to a peace agreement. - What else is new, and how is that in any way on Obama's debit sheet?

Iraq and Syria are slowly being taken over but certifiable nut jobs. - Sadly, an absolutely predictable and inevitable outcome of Bush's Folly. The advance on Irbil has been halted dead in its tracks and their gains are strating to be reversed.

A US marine sits in a Mexican jail while we do ummm nothing. - An EX-marine, and on legitimate weapons charges. Read Bruce's comments on this one.

Our Navy is shrinking - Again, maybe. So what? Now it's only bigger than the next 10 combined rather than the next 15? Not a real issue, especially if the $$ saved are used to improve the lives of ordinary Americans



ISIS - See above. Begining to be rolled back, and a true coalition of the willing is coalescing. This issue WILL be dealt with.

North Korea. - Mostly an irritating non-issue. Not a real threat to anyone save the South, and they are capable, with our help of defending themselves.

Iran - At the table, for the first time ever, due to this President's ratcheting up of, and imposition of, truly significant sanctions, Progress toward a weapon halted and reversed, with prospects for a true, long term, verifiable resolution in view.
China - See above.

 Russia - Obama has played Putin like a well tuned Stradivarius on multiple occasions. He had no interest in taking military action in Syria. He manipulated our Congress  to delay, and got Pution to act in his own self interest, and there are no longer any chemical weapons in Syria. Imagine if ISIS had gotten their hands on them. Can't happen now. After Crimea Putin was ready to go right on in to eastern Ukraine. Obama hit him with the first rond of sanctions and he stopped on a dime. I'm guessing there are a bunch of Georgians who wish Obama had been in office when Putin took part of their country. WHen Putin tried to arm the rebels Obama called him on it with even stricter sanctions, but the airliner event occured before they had time to take effect. That ball is now in Europe's court. Russia is a fading power kept afloat by its energy sector.

Syria - See above.

He has been the best President on foreign policy ever! - Probably not, but since Nixon? Unquestionably. He has accomplished all of this without commiting American troops into costly misadventures. Pretty amazing, actually.

allow terrorists to kill our ambassadors  - Yet another GOP led House comittee (Intelligence this time. THat make 3) has determined ther was NO WRONGDOING in the SQUIRREL (Benghazi) event.

 Russ, I know and believe you love this country. I do not understand how you can say what you do and claim to be serious.  - You should have a better grasp now that I've given you the Cliff Notes.

I am worried about you Russ. - Thank you for your concern, but it is seriously misplaced. Come out of the fog filled echo chamber and take a look at reality now and then. Clear eyes and a cleared brain might open your mind.


20  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Wake Up, America! on: Aug 19, 2014, 08:52PM
Obama has been, despite the unrelenting obstruction, the most positively constructive President on the domestic scene since Johnson. He is the best foreign policy President since, at least, Nixon. That combination may make him the best President in my lifetime. Imagine where this country would be if, for the last 6 years, we had had a loyal minority party rather than a GOP that would rather see America fail, both at home and abroad, than for this President to succeed.
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